Monday, 31 December 2007

edition 30 2500 miles / mpg improves

Pic 1 = last tank of fuel , nearly 29MPG , 322 miles , some fuel left as well !

Pic 2 = is the current tank , which by chance has been some relaxed cruising and shows how much difference some calm driving can make.

37 miles done , needle not moved off full and car estimates 380 miles still to go.
If I could complete the tank that would be 400 + miles lol
Sadly it aint gonna happen , besides a clear bit of road and self restraint goes out the window.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Golf GTI Edition 30 MPG

Reset the trip on the average and tried each for around 50 miles motorway

@ 70 mph = 35 MPG
@ 80 mph = 32 MPG
@ 85 mph = 28 MPG

all speedo numbers btw

car at 1800 miles so should improve with more miles

Friday, 7 December 2007

oh no its broken.... oh no its not!

On the way home tonight.......
Gave the car beans , TC off , splashed through a very small puddle (enough to barey be noticeable , about 3 in deep)

I was about 1 minute away from home, pulled up on drive.......

Car idleing between 1200 and 1500 rpm , going up to 1500 and dropping back.
Consistently well over the normal idle speed.

Now I struggle to believe its water in the electrics , although it is very wet round here at the moment.

Anyone got any ideas?
Have I even got a DV failure?

Went out earlier and car is still not right , varied high idle , and on and off the throttle it just doesnt feel right!!!

Im so sad , its only just run it , 1400 miles

which a quick check under the bonnet reveals......

the fecking oil cap is unscrewed
screwed back in and oil check its back to normal

BUT I have absolutely no idea how it managed to come undone!!

Anyway if it happens again we all know what it is now

normal thrashing to resume , panic over........

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Edition 30 1000 miles and run in

Pic taken on 3rd tank of fuel , did some runs to Manchester today so its now over 1000 miles and I would consider run in :-) let the fun begin ........

Checked the oil and surprisingly it hasnt used any yet!
Washed today and found the first stonechip , bang smack in the middle of the bonnet.
I guess a touch up stick is in order !

Car running great and very strong low and mid range
The only fly in the ointment is a 'grumble' when pulling away quickly from the drivetrain. Maybe its the clutch bedding in , but for now we will see how it goes!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

std vs edition 30 golf gti power and torque curves

Heres a direct overlay of superchips graphs for std and edition 30 golfs.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

600 miles and counting.....

As it shows 305 miles on a tank (Optimax) @ 25.5 MPG average which isnt too bad :-)

Sunday, 11 November 2007

first Edition 30 mpg / no plate holes filled

Pic 1 = first fill up of fuel while running in
Pic 2 = front number plate plinths filled in by some of B&Q's finest grommets

230 miles / 23 MPG average , car now at a total of 400 miles (did lots of miles today after taking the pic!)

So far no oil used at all

Car running great and already freeing up nicely , still a bit of a dodgy feel while taking up drive on the clutch , so we will see how that goes.
Funny , but sounds like a diesel/petrol hybrid when idleing (my old high lift cammed 1380 mini was quieter!) , but apparently many are like that.
As soon as you take the revs above idle it sounds sweet as a nut.

Car run great on a trip to Southport and back. Ride the wave of torque ;-)

Monday, 5 November 2007

OSIR pod and DEFI 52mm guage ordered

ordered from (uk importer of OSIR parts in UK)

OPOD MONO RHD gauge pod + 52mm DEFI Blue Racer Boost Gauge

does not require a link unit to control it so its a bit cheaper!
Should arrive in 2-3 weeks , although Im not sure if Im brave enough to fit it lol.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Edition 30 gets its first bath......

First wash pics , no polishing as yet........

Saturday, 3 November 2007

like a bus ! / small 3/4 sized number plate fitted

like a bus !........
first thing this morning turn up at a local shopping centre and find another ED30 in white.
Looked superb , and being sad I had to take a pic lol

Second pic is the std UK front plate compared to a 3/4 sized plate from

Third pic is the plate now on the car. Im now left with 4 holes either side where the old plinth used to fix!!!

Car now at 170 miles and going great.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Golf MkV GTI Edition 30 arrives .....

12 weeks after order , today was the day.

8 miles on the clock when I drove it out of the dealer.
First impressions = its superb :-)

Ben @ Gilbert Lawton VW Manchester was superb
Great Deal
Great Attitude
Choice of reg plates to choose from (STUCK ON ONLY NO HOLES !!!!)

Car was immaculate and afaik has absolutely no marks on it all.
The paintwork even seems OK for swirls.
Running in is <4500 rpm + low load advised by VW. I have just let it run freely without heavy low rpm load , but boy does this car go under light throttle.
I have ran other cars in before and been to 'easy' on them , so this time Im trying to change that.
Interestingly it already feels a lot faster than the 200ps std GTI I test drove.
Cant wait to give it the full monty.
Car feels very special and I love it.

So expect lots of info in the next few weeks.

first mod is the small front number plate which is on its way already ;-)

take care


Monday, 29 October 2007

adsl reconnected last.......

well Im back :-)
After a recent house move , I've been reduced to dial up which has effectively curtailed any web related activity :-( for cheap and cheerfull dialup , highly recommended , 2000 minutes anytime for £10

Anyway thats now over as my new account with pipex is now up and running 3 days early :-) (always pays to have that router on lol)

Lots to catch up on but most importantly the car has arrived and Im due to pick it up tommorrow :-)

TODO : leaf blower! , boost gauge

just ordered the small front plate too .......

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Golf build date :-)

Yes its true , at last after 10 weeks wait I have a build date for the edition 30, it will be w/b 15th October , with an estimated pick up time of early November.
Seriously cant wait now.
Starting to investigate the chipping options a bit more lol

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Noble on the driveway! / 1 series pic / MRS old discs pic

Time for another update....

Pic 1 : The rather superb Noble that Ive just bought as a runabout for a couple of mnths....NOT , it actually was driven by a friend of the guy who came to pick up his new car (my old one).
Sounded fab and as ever not exactly subtle :-)
Sob , I can scarcely believe I ever had an M3 at all :-(
I REALLY miss the driving experience ............

Pic 2 : The trusty BMW 1 series I had for a while when the M3 was getting the front end sprayed to remove stonechips. Only a 116i but as Ive said before it was really nice , and even the looks grew on me ! Drove really nicely , so the 135i must be a really swift machine.

Pic 3 : The front discs I took off the MRS (Mk3 MR2). Not the total absence of a decent wear face , mostly rust = gubbed !
The new brakes are so far great , the only downside I can see is that the brake dust produced is more than OE toyota pads. But for the money absolutely brill.
The feel and performance is the same if not better than OE , Im made up.

No word on the Golf arrival date yet............
Looking at maybe getting a car to run about in.
Seen some nice Mk2 golfs , but they are 15 yrs old now!
Ebay is like an aladins cave too , if you can afford to take a risk.

Stay safe out there

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

M3 E46 End of Term Review

Well here we go , an attempt to sum up this car.......

I have owned my (previous) M3 for 18 months , in that time going from 10,000 miles up to 42,000 miles.
A silver grey 04 plate.
I traded in a new Mini Cooper s (modified to 220bhp+) for this car.
Most of these were spent going up and down the motorway between Glasgow and Warrington (450 miles round trip) every weekend.
I regularly saw 32 mpg crusing @ 85 mph motorway, and 27 ish general travelling around.

PLUS POINTS (so many but heres a few!

Very understated looks , only those in the know really notice.
The 'fat' rear track. The twin pipes , BMW got the subtle look just right on the E46 M3 imho.

Fuel economy! ok you dont buy one of these cars for this , but its a huge bonus,
32mpg on the motorway just insane for a 340bhp car.
Can you name another car with this much power that does that?

Practicality , huge boot yet porsche pace. Only issue is making sure you dont damage the lovely nappa leather.

Performance (surprise!), can drive slowly , amazing tractability , or race car pace when reqd
The engine! rpm range is truly brill , workable pull from 2k to 8k.
No more getting caught passing cars having to change gear , 3rd just supreme.
Rate of acceleration above 100mph+ to limiter (private test track of course).
M3 just excels at the point your licence goes out the window.

Never really drove with sport button on , preferred more progressive throttle control

The exhaust noise with rear windows open and a full 7900rpm on the clock :-)

The rasp when its cold (ok no revs allowed but you can still hear it at 2k rpm)

Those polished alloys , a brilliant contrast to a subtle body (polished alloy)

seats are supreme, hold you well , remember settings. I dont think my back ever hurt.

grip (with the right tyres GSD3 F1), feel throughout the car when pushing on , t/c rarely intervenes in the dry.
Interferes too abruptly in the wet , smoother in the wet with it off

Xenon lights :-), std equipment but a must have for any car these days

And the sheer driving 'experience' , no drive was just a trip , every journey was a joy.
Rain , Sleet , Snow (caught around Birmingham in the big snow!),
this performance machine instils total confidence in ALL conditions.

I went from 220bhp FWD to 340bhp RWD and although you do need to respect an M3 , I found the transition very easy


The way they all seem to drive like 'dogs' from cold lol

Costs to keep it in correct 'manner' are significant , but not excessive.

'Acoustic feedback' from the transmission ! I remember the first time I reversed into a parking space and thought the whole diff had destroyed itself!
Most seem to do it , but its easy to drive 'around' it. But I do feel it could have been a bit better.

Clutch is a pain , I think a CDV delete would sort this out. 1st to 2nd was always a excercise in 'patience'
(in fact the manual version drives better when you 'push' on a bit and quicken the pace)

polished alloys , one scrape and ... refurb still not the OE finish.

interior very germanic, to the point of it being 'unexciting', maybe a bit more special (dare I say like the RS4 !)

Engine sounds like its had it, lots of noise lol

Brakes can be made to fade even on road. Never actually lost pedal totally though.

Insurance costs @ Group20 are a serious , but are probably the main reason why M3 are still kept in a specialist market . Although it seems this is now changing.

std fit audio is cr*p beyond belief for a car of this value!

Warranty costs.

Understeer wasnt bad , but I felt could be improved , and some time at Thorneys would soon sort that.

(I have outlined some negatives , but really most of them are just being very picky :-) )

My favourite moment was racing a couple of motorbikes around the roads around the Carbeth Inn nr Glasgow.
(as a former motorbike owner I know these roads :-) ), really good fun and I kept up better than I thought. I even think the bikers were impressed :grinteeth:
The M3 gets better the harder you push it. Rear squats down , tyres dig in , and the package just comes together........

Regrets? none :-) , apart from the fact i wish I had done a track day , but the poor brakes just put me off enough to never do it.

To any new M3 owners, heres some 'suggestions' :

1. Check your tyre pressures
2. Check the oil (regularly!), it may not use it (mine didnt) but just in case...
3. Use good quality tyres (PS2 or GSD3F1)
4. Use 97+RON fuel. For me the M3 felt flat on normal fuel.
5. A noisy engine is just the way it is ;-), dont worry just enjoy it :-)
6. Acoustic feedback is a way of life , just drive around it.
7. Keep up to date on bm3w , its a wealth of knowledge that often pust your mind at rest.
8. Enjoy it and make sure once its warm you exercise the full rev range, inc the brakes. M3 's are meant to be driven and hard (in the right sense)

Will I get one again? Yes I hope so, ideally a CSL in years to come.
Equivalent cars in the market today? none
Nothing matches the sheer all round ability of the M3 E46.
Its all cars to all people.
Sure performance benchmarks have moved on (the M3 isnt as invincible as we would all hope against many of todays hot hatches!)

Thats it my homage , to a car I considered a dream as I was growing up , but now Ive had a chance to enjoy.

The greatest car I will ever own ? Probably :-)

The E46 M3 , what a car .............

Saturday, 25 August 2007

M3 sold!!!

Yes , I can scarcely believe its true , but I have just watched my pride and joy drive away this morning.
Congratulations to the new owner , I hope he enjoys the car as much as I did.

So here (for now it ends), car went with 42,000 miles on clock.
I will eventually do a full writeup of M3 experience.

18 months ownership , 32,000 miles and a whole lot of fun.

I loved it , and would recommend everyone to have one at some point in there lives.
Fast, economical (not at the same time!), practical too :-)

Golf not here for 2 months , so not sure where to go from here........

Monday, 20 August 2007

M3 calipers get painted too !

Yep , once you pop you just cant stop...

After seeing the lovely black calipers of the MR2 I reckoned the M3 needed the same (ok yes Im selling it , but visually it will look better! and besides I'll enjoy it).

Got home tonight and got stuck into the M3
Took my time , painted calipers and cleaned and polished the inside edges of the wheels. I have to say the M3 wheels are really light for their reqd usage, I remember the compomotive wheels I fitted to my old mini cooper s (new shape) being much heavier!!
I also cleaned up the front discs to remove any edges , they look so much better.
Ok many will think its a bit an*l but it really is worth doing , and Ive been talking about doing it since I bought the car!

All in all a busy 2 days for car DIY :-)
I love it (although my hands dont ! they really hurt) , and feel the need for more ...... dont expect much todo on the ed30 though.

will try and get some pics up soon.

MR2 Mk3 front brakes renewal

well I finally went ahead and did it!

Quote from toyota was £320, and with money freeflowing out my hands at the moment I need to save some cash if I can. So DIY it is.

front discs , pads and fitting kit bought from some very helpful people at Brakes International the Bolton branch, wasnt sure but recommended by Allan , so if theres a problem I can blame him ;-)
On a side note the customer service was superb.

All in , a frankly ridiculous £72 ! , (and I will be taking the fitting kit back -£13 which is just 4 spring clips I reused old ones).
Quality seems fine , some nice shiny discs , and generic pads (box didnt list MR2 but listed several Yaris models)

Onto the DIY
Found a guide at
Toyota Owners Club fitting guide which at least shows you what to expect.

It clearly shows the rubber pad and metal pad you need to unclip from each old pad an refit to your new pads.
The pad supports are what you get in the fitting kit (4 of in 1 kit),I re-used the old ones , but its up to you.
Dont worry there are NO fixing screws holding the disc to the hub, so it will eventually come off , but it may need some persuading in the form of a large 'impliment'
The discs were wrecked on the inside surface (outer visible through wheel surface looked fine), the inner pad was also down to 2mm material left.

Remember towipe the disc surface to remove the oil and ensuring you dont get any dirt inbetween the important mating surfaces (which may cause vibration etc)

Good cleanup, copper grease used sparingly in the right places (dont overdo it , it will just make a mess).

I would check that the sliders in the carrier work , mine were seized, but quickly freed off with a bit of movement.

I also took the opportunity to clean up the caliper with a wire brush and paint it with satin black smoothrite (yeah I know its not high temp, but from prev experience I know with a good surface prep it works well). Remember and get satin as gloss is a bit too bling lol

If you are feeling keen then its also a good chance to clean the inside edges of the wheels and get some polish on them, visually it can make a huge difference :-)

[pics of old discs to follow]

Push brake pedal to take up slack , then after waiting for the caliper paint to dry I took the car out to gently bed in the brakes. Just some light pedal pressure so far , but what a difference :-)
Will give them about 100 miles then attempt a few big stops to really bed them in.

All in all I took my time and it (so far) has worked out well.
Next job is to get the rear wheels off now and paint those calipers too.

A very simple job that almost anyone could tackle , and the price is right :-)

Thursday, 16 August 2007

more M3 pics

sunny evening , car for sale , what else could I do , but wash it and take some more pics :-)

Car averaged 31.7 MPG @ 85 MPH on a run to scotland and back at the weekend which is probably better than I will get in the golf!
Dropped to 28 MPG whilst commuting though.
Now just passed 42,000 miles.

Also ordered some brake discs for the MR2 from brakesinternational (Thanks Allan) , which seems extremely cheap but hopefully good quality.
Will need to remember how to use a socket set :-) , its been a while since I was rebuilding the mini engine lol (its been 10 yrs now wonder where it is now?)


Friday, 3 August 2007

M3 goes up for sale!!!!

is there any more to say , Im gutted , what a car ..............

2004 / 04 BMW E46 M3 manual
Silver Grey / Full Black Nappa Leather
2004 July build Facelift Model so has the LED rear lights and wider rear boot handle.

Car has a FULL and up to date Main Dealer BMW Service History.
28/06/2004 : Originally supplied by Henry Bros , Glasgow.
08/09/2004 : Running in service at 1304 miles by Henry Bros, Glasgow.
01/02/2006 : Oil Service at 10163 miles by Henry Bros , Glasgow.
14/08/2006 : Inspection I at 24809 miles by Henry Bros , Glasgow.
21/06/2007 : Oil Service at 38486 miles by Williams , Manchester.

Car currently shows 41500 miles
11750 miles indicated to next service by dash, which will be an Inspection II at approx 53000 miles

I bought car in March 2006 from Henry Bros , Glasgow with 10200 miles on clock.
The car has then covered mostly motorway miles to the current mileage of 41500 miles.
So a total of 2 owners from new.
Fully documented history and HPI Clear.
All original BMW books, folders and receipts and service book history, inc all receipts for all work.

Taxed until 31/01/2008
MOT until 28/06/2008
BMW Warranty until 27/06/2008 (transferable to new owner )

Work done at various points in my ownership

Xenon LHS bulb replaced under warranty (flickering)
New rear springs replaced under warranty (common M3 fault)
New tyres at approx 27,000 miles
New OE Rear Discs/Pads at approx 41,000 miles

Door shuts around mechanism resprayed under warranty (common M3 fault)
at the same time as this I also decided to have the front end done to remove all stone chips.
(in anticipation of keeping the car for longer!)
This was done by Williams Manchester BMW bodyshop , and I have to say the work is faultless and I cannot tell.
Don't take my word for it just come and see the car , it is now immaculate without a single mark on it.
(receipt included for £1800)

Only ever filled with BP Ultimate or Shell Optimax
Uses no oil (although I do carry a litre in the boot and check regularly just in case)
Car is always allowed to warm to 75degrees on oil gauge (not water temp!) before any load is placed on engine.

All 3 keys supplied
Aside from the usual massive M3 standard spec i.e.

Bi-Xenon Lights
Electric / Memory Sport Seats
Climate Control
Auto dim mirror
Auto-lights on/off
Steering Wheel Controls (cruise, telephone & stereo)
Cruise Control
DSC Stability Control
Sport Mode
LED rear lights
Electric & heating mirrors
Full fuel computer with range, MPG, average speed etc
Through load system (folding rear seats)
Tyre Pressure Warning System
Rear park distance control

The car comes complete with :

19" Original Diamond Cut BMW Alloy Wheels fitted with Goodyear Eagle F1 GSD3 tyres (235F,265R) roughly 7mm tread left all round.
Parrot Bluetooth (hidden in glove box)(manual supplied)
Kenwood KVT-627 DVD Flip up touch screen DVD + iPod interface (cable connector between seats) (all manuals,receipts (£1000)+ remote supplied)
both professionally fitted by Newministuff(Formby Car Electrical Services) on 18/03/2006
both work via OE steering wheel controls and phone functions mute stereo in use.
[this unit includes disabled sat nav function , that only requires an additional unit(DVD or hard drive(Kenwood KNA-G520)) to get working]
Original single CD business player supplied as well , should you wish to refit it.
TRACKER unit installed and still on an active subscription
BMW Leather Centre Armrest

Car is located in Warrington (1/2 way between Manchester and Liverpool).

Wheels have some scuffs (previous owner!) and a couple of places of water under the lacquer(3mm diam max)
(maybe enough to get dealer to replace but I have never got around to it)
Stone chip on windscreen , out of drivers line of sight , passed MOT so OK.

I have a wedding ahead and I'm moving house so it's time to move on to a Golf which arrives soon.
A genuine car that's been well looked after. Lots of trouble free motoring ahead.
Trust me you will not be disappointed these cars really are as good as the reviewers say.
This car has been my pride and joy , but sadly it's time to move on.

I have nothing to hide and the full history of the car has been blogged by me on
I have also posted sometimes on the excellent , which as an M3 owner you can't do without.
I will ONLY consider test drives if you are insured. Otherwise I'm afraid it will be just me driving.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the car, or would like to come see it.
Looking at the current market I am asking for £23,995 , which I feel reflects its condition.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Golf GTI Edition 30

Er , well not one to hang about its time to move on again.
M3 is a truly astonishing car I may never experience the like of again , but the rolling year to year costs are now prohibitive.
So it will be up for sale soon.

What to replace it with? Low running costs and practical/reliable but with a 'fun' element to (partially) replace the M3 fun.

So I considered
Golf GTI
Ford Focus ST
Seat Leon
Renault Megane R26
and started a discussion on

Then I went around each dealer to have a look at the cars.
Decided on a second hand Golf GTI eventually , trawled classifieds and dealers for the 'right' car , then eventually left a dealer last sunday having ordered the last Edition30 available ;-) , so much for the budget.

Anyway car ordered , in metallic black, manual , 3dr, with a few choice extras.
Highline computer + MFSW , Xenons , Lux pack , parking sensors :-)
My first 'new' car, due to arrive in 3 months time!

Heres a sample pic of exactly how it will look..

Whats the graph I hear you ask?
Well supposedly the S3 engine detuned to 230 bhp , but they all seem to put out more , and the tuning potential is just crazy...
lol modified it before its even run in.

A superchips bluefin can do the following

VW Golf GTI Edition 30

Original Max 244 BHP @ 6088 Rpm
Superchipped Max 307 BHP @ 6571 Rpm

Original Max 317 Nm @ 4752 Rpm
Superchipped Max 391 Nm @ 3140 Rpm

Power 61 BHP increase @ 6484 Rpm
Torque 82 Nm increase @ 3762 Rpm

thats serious numbers, which apparently it can handle!!!!
In my day 220bhp was considered the limit for FWD, so much for that.

I can hardly wait. Just need to sell the M3 now.


Thursday, 12 July 2007

RUST ! 41k miles .....

Well what can I say!!! poor BMW build quality or what?
I was drying the door sills and noticed a hint of a rust bubble around the door plate.
Pulled back the black plastic cover to reveal the true horror.
Car has never had any paint , and given that its on both sides it appears to be a bmw weakness . A quick BM3W forum check reveals others have seen the same problem.
Luckily BMW have agreed to fix it , as they should on a car thats only 3 years old!

So , I think its almost time to put the car in and get the door dent / lower sill / and front end blow over.
Slightly concerned about having paint done at all , matching,quality etc but it needs done.

On a lighter note , the 3rd pic is the 41k milestone

Seriously considering a downgrade to save money but M3 values have dropped so much its painful :-(

Cars I have considered which would all be 05 or newer

Ford Focus ST
Renault Megane R26
Golf GTI

All around 15k , with Golf above that if you want DSG etc , 2 others are MUCH cheaper , but of course lower quality.

, whats also nice is a Mk4 Golf R32 03 plate , 15k too for a 3dr black 30kmiles ish mmmm nice.

currently getting around 24.5 MPG general commuting !


Tuesday, 3 July 2007

M3 Warranty renewed

Yes , sadly its been an expensive time.
The car was 3yrs old on 26th June 2007 (remember MOT etc) , which also means the manufacturers warranty runs out.

3 choices

1. Pay BMW for a years cover
2. Pay a third party warranty company
3. Stick cash in a savings account and pray it never happens :-)

Well weighing up the options and especially the fact I will probably sell the car in the next year , I have renewed with BMW for the not insignificant sum of £1000 bend over and cough did I hear u say !
I reckoned it may be an advantage for my car, esp as it doesnt have sat-nav and hk.

Only things left to do are

1. Get the door and lower sill painted (+ maybe the front end to remove stone chips)
2. Front brakes (although to be honest they are currently fine)

Im already working out in my head how much year 2 is currently costing....
Its a supreme car , but to treat it correctly costs lots.

oh and did I mention suzuki are doing 0% finance and £139 insurance on the GSXR750 now :-).........heres the darker blue (and no white) special anniversary TT edition


Thursday, 21 June 2007

40k miles / MOT passed / new rear brakes / some classic cars

First two pics are ex police Pord Capri 2.8 and Talbot Sunbeam(Alpine?) recently seen outside the GMEX in Manchester for a police conference , I was just out for my lunch :-)

Second is the 40,000 miles milestone !!!!

And just after that it had to go in to Williams BMW because it was fast approaching the cars 3rd birthday.
Decided it was time to get the rear discs/pads/shoes replaced, lazy? me? yeah probably. I will attempt to replace the fronts later on myself though honest!

Third pic are my new rear discs :-) Yum , only job is to have the wheels back off and paint the bits that will just get rusty.

Just for you folks , the bill is below ......

another 'quick' £500 :-(

Once again top marks to Williams BMW , polite , courteous , effective , this is my second visit and so far I'm very impressed , they even put my plastic sill back on properly :-) that I had recently damaged. Phoned me about replacing the rear shoes for the handbrake , and of course the car came back with no extra marks.

On top of that I went to the bodyshop part of Williams to get a quote for chips/damage etc, and they were top notch too. Car will probably get put back to 'perfection' in the next month which would leave only the wheels as not up to 'john' spec :-)

On a personal note its a good week, my lovely nieces birthday this weekend , and a former work colleague gave birth to a lovely baby girl this week :-)

o and my car passed its MOT lol

take care

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

39k miles / stupid mistake .....

There you go , 39500 miles on the beast......

Oh and the small matter of 'stupid' here managing to hit a large boulder on the drive!!!! At first I didnt think much of it ....... until I got out........
Oh well these things happen and it just means i will be getting the door fixed quicker than I realised.
[perhaps even get stonechips on bonnet/wings blown over if it isnt too costly]

Sill panel itself looks easy enough to respray.


1. Extend BMW Warranty for this year
2. MOT for car
3. Replace rear discs and pads (I hope to leave fronts for time being)
4. Get door dent and sill repaired
5. Get wheels refinished by Pristine Wheels

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

bm3w day / bsb / mr2 pics

Finally got around to putting the pictures up.....

MR2 just some clean car pics

BM3W day , the pics

and yesterday the awesome BSB @ Oulton park

car @ 39100 miles , indicator reckons 15000 to next service which is the Inpsection II biggie! which will be @ around 54000 miles.

Saturday, 28 April 2007

M3 Oil Service / BM3W day @ Thorney Motorsport

ok time for an update

Oil service @ 38500 miles

Car went into Williams BMW Manchester for the first time ever.
Car has 38k on it , and its an oil service only.
My first experience of Williams BMW is very encouraging.
They phoned me to discuss my rear brakes (which to be fair are awful but something I will get done later). Car was washed (to a high standard) and no more dings/scratches appeared :-) (which is always a worry when the car goes into a dealer)
So for an oil service + fuel filter change (requested by me) the total was £305
Rear springs were checked and OK
I requested the filter change to hopefully reduce the really bad stutter the car had just before I took it in. Transition from light to full throttle was poor.
It was a long shot that Ive seen work on the BM3W forums , and it fact it has made it 75% better ! woohoo , still there but reduced greatly.

For the future its an MOT in June(£50) and new brakes all round (at least £750).....
Oh and the renewal of the warranty (£1000)

BM3W forum day @ Thorney Motorsport

Attended this today , a superb day with a whole host of fab machinery

Lots of E46 M3's , CSL's ,Z4M, M5's new and old , Porsche GT3 + RS and an Aston Martin :-)

Plenty of dyno runs (sadly not me :-( ) and some great hospitality.
Lots of pics to follow........
Car ran like clockwork there and back and returned 29MPG (even allowing for some high speed fun on the M6 toll , is it really £4 these days !)

enjoy the good weather

Friday, 6 April 2007

new BMW M3 official final pics

BMW site is up and running for some of new M3 stuff :-)
new M3 configurator

lovely , just wait till its 'lightly' modified , only real downsides are
a) price :-(
b) the super dull 3 series interior (even on this M car) , not a patch on the E46

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Site Feeds / RSS and the like...

Been wondering for a while about 'site feeds' and rss etc.
Well yesterday KennyM a previous work colleague mentioned it and i thought it was time to go look..

Basically rather than trawling websites for new stuff , you wait for them to sent you the new stuff as and when :-) brill...

You can use a few readers but I have tried
Google Feed Reader
which is soooo easy to use and setup.
I already have a blog account , so hey presto I have also subscribed to other blogs for content feeds.

So far I have...

The Dilbert Blog

Martin Fowler's Bliki
Raible Designs

James Gosling

JohnO's Blog
the blue dolphin - Allans Blog

lots more to follow...


more photoshops on the new M3

RS4(Audi) wheels
Split Rims
M6 wheels

and the last pic is some E46 M3 wheels I found that I quite like
Nice dish , simple design etc...

Service due soon...

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

37,000 miles !

First pic is the car , one minute Id just finished washing it and the sun was out...!
Next minute its hailing ....odd pic but fun :-)

miles are slowing but a recent trip up to Glasgow/Ayr means I added another 500+ on Fri. 700 odd miles to an oil service.

Looking at getting the chips and dent sorted before I get the car detailed.
Wheels will also hopefully get done this year.

Tracker renewal £109 , so its almost exactly a year since I bought this car.

27,000 miles in 1 yr , at roughly 27 MPG (which is about right) thats 1,000 gallons of BP or Shells finest. which is 4546 liters x £1 per litre = £4546
holy mother of g*d thats a lot just on a 'consumable' ! food for thought money wise , not to mention the environment.

So thats

£4546 on fuel
£800 on the Inspection 1
£800 on 4 new tyres
£109 on a years tracker subscription
£>1000 for years insurance

thats £7300 just for a years motoring , thats £608 per month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(oh and the small matter that I was running a sports bike last year too)

worth every sodding penny :-) , sob , sob is it really that much!

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

New E92 arrives / Ipod Video ISkin Evo3

E92 M3
Yes , here it is finally unveiled at the Geneva motorshow today...

400bp+ V8 supreme.
Initial impressions are I love it APART from the wheels!
Jeeze all that development and its gets a set of CSL knock offs!
Spoils it for me. I love the wheels themselves but on an E46 not an E92 FFS!
Anyway some nice wheels and it'll look completely diff.

Do I want one ? YES.
Can I afford one? NO , its 50k basic........

Ipod Video ISkin Evo3

Top notch Ipod Video protection.
Albeit very pricey (20 UKP) , but it has a soft rubber case and a perspex front.
The thumbwheel area is also covered by a thin sheet which is brilliant cos thats the bit that gets most dirty.
All connection are accessible.
Only criticism I have is it make the video quite big , but then I have a 60GB model anyway so its no shrinking violet.
Would be a problem for some docking accessories though.

Thoroughly recommended :-)

Monday, 5 March 2007

Etymotic Research ER-6i Isolator Earphones review

Bought from

I have now had 2 sets

Firstly I have used a white set for over a year and they have been outstanding.
The sound quality really is supreme.
I have actually spent a fair bit of money on replacement earpieces and internal filters, which dirty quickly in use (yuck!)
I was however forced back to the std ipod earphones recently when one of the wires had become internally detached causing a loss of signal to one ear.
This seems quite common , not helped by me wrapping them round my ipod inbetween uses!
The connector jack also has a straight exit so that doesnt help.

Anyway I love them so much I decided to buy another pair.
Going back to the normal ipod earphones just showed me how used to the superior performance I had become. The isolation factor just isnt there with normal earphones so you cant appreciate the finer pieces of your acid jazz (or whatevers your poision :-) ).

This time I bought a black pair.
1. Because the jack is right angled to reduce stress on the cable.
2. The ear pieces are grey so might not look so dirty looking after a few months use.
3. I prefer the black cabling :-)

So yes I would recommend them you won't go back.

superior sound quality brings out sounds youve never realised were there (i kid you not)
total noise isolation

Not inexpensive
Not inexpensive replacement tips and filters reqd
A very 'personal' fit in the ear canal , so not to everyone's tastes.

In summary 10/10 , a superb product that defends the belief that quality costs.
Ditch those 'poor' ipod phones and get these .......

This time

Sunday, 4 March 2007

N73 fun / M3 brakes / yet more wireless issues

Nokia N73 upgrade firmware
After much searching the web after getting the N73 it soon became apparent that the software is in a state of flux ! and under continuous improvement to sort out the multitude of bugs with it.
Nokia seem really good in this respect (where the R+D process though?) .

However the biggest issue is that phones are labelled with an identity based on the provider NOT just the phone type. And as such an update has to be released for example for the O2 version to get the newer software via the Nokia software suite.
Sadly this doesnt really happen so either your lucky and your provider has updates , or your phone has not been 'branded' and you can get the latest.
What people see as a poor N73 is actually probably the fact that the phones are being handed out with very old software. The phone itself is excellent BUT only with the latest software.

Mine alas is O2 branded. So if you check for an update it says there isnt one (via Nokia).
Sadly given all the issues seem to be getting fixed in the newer version it makes sense to get those updates.........

You can check the phone version by punching *#0000# into the phone.
Long story short I decided to void my warranty , adjust the id of the phone using
Nemesis Service Suite (NSS) which hooks into the phones internal data.
I chose to use a 'generic' number.
After this is set , and the phone reboots you can try again to see if you can get updates.

Success :-) I was able to get access to the 'unbranded' new updates.
I went from
version 2.0628.0.0.1 to version 3.0649.0.0.1 :-)
lots of fixes.
Worth it ? Definitely just consider carefully before you do so.
However if you want to run software reliably you are gonna have to make sure you have the latest firmware.

(Note another option is to get a service centre to upgrade for you, that way you keep the warranty)
If you have an N73 issue the first port of call is your software version......

Now I could at least get onto the fun stuff........

Nokia N73 sat nav , yep couldnt resist getting tom tom6 on the phone.

SIRF III Bluetooth GPS receiver from

receiver is astounding , superb quick startup and lockon. incredibly small and best of all works in the cubby hole under the light switch in the M3 !!!

2GB mem card from

Installed tom tom , works like a dream.
I also installed the speed camera POI's for the UK.
Sat nav works quickly, and doesnt lag at all.
I even calculated a route to southern france to see how long it would take the N73 's tiny chip. (about 45 secs if you interested :-))

So far i would thoroughly recommend it , even on the N73 its definitely usable. Only thing I need now is a phone holder.

M3 brakes
Well thats a pic of my front and rear brakes above.
After the recent noises I punished them by driving along while applying constant pressure on the brake. Eventually got them to fade , then allowed them to cool down.
Noise seems better but the fundamental problem is that they are f*cked
The cross drillings are so rusty that in some places the holes arent even.
The front discs seem to be OK in terms of pad sweep but as can be seen from the pic t the rears are realling touching in the middle of the swept area.
They work , but in reality it needs new discs and pads.
I guess the lack of miles this car did as a youngster is the reason for this...

Oil service is due in 1800 miles (car around 36700 miles I think)

Goodyear GSD3 tyres continue to shine , I done lots of miles and still very little sign of wear :-)

Alloys are now in poor shape (well in my eyes anyway) , so they will soon be sent off for refurb.

Wireless issues

Well after finally getting my wireless setup stable , it started to play up again recently.
One minute 100% signal , next minute couldnt see it at all!!! mmmmm getting a feeling of deja vu
The reason I suspect , is someone new nearby as gone wireless and theres a conflict.

I tried in vain for hrs again to get a stable signal (remember Ive tried this before and had issues with the DECT phillips home phone).
In the end I have had to drop the linksys router down to standard radio band 20MHZ (i.e. not wide band 40MHZ) on standard channel 12 ( 2.467 GHZ ) , this basically turns my fancy WAG 300N router into a total middle of the road G spec router !
Thats like buying an M3 and using 1 cylinder!

Anyway it works again (connected at 54MBpS).

anyway thats enough for now , more later...

Sunday, 4 February 2007

D900 to N73 : N73 profile issues : M3 brakes rumble

Yes well , circumstances arose so that I could move phones and I couldnt resist :-)
Love the Samsung D900 and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone , does what its says on the tin and works as a phone should.
Good battery life , good camera , excellent UI (if a bit diff from nokia style).
Only downside is that you cant assign mp3's as message tones.

Anyways started up the N73 without a SIM (I'm GSM only not 3G), phone goes into 'offline' profile and I get to play with it :-)
Copy stuff across by bluetooth then insert my SIM and reboot........

Bl**dy phone wont change to 'general' profile !!!! At this point Im concerned :-(
Anyway after several hrs on the net scaring myself about the number of issues with the N73 (oops maybe should have looked BEFORE I changed LOL)

Long story short but apparently if you switch the phone on without a SIM present , it can never change profile!! , Its a 'bug' , sorry 'feature . The fix which worked for me was...

hold down green button + 3 + * and at the same time hit the button to switch the phone on.

Once Id had 2 extra arms surgically added I was able to perform this and it worked 'woohoo'

Nokia PC Suite seems really good. Next step is to upgrade the phone software , as nokia seem pretty good at regular updates.

Initial phone impressions

Lovely , bit slow in some menus, lots of unctionality , excellent camera.

TODO : Buy a miniSD card + charger , maybe even bluetooth GPS receiver so I can have phone sat nav ;-)


On the car side , not much other than my brakes now rumble when applying some pressure.
Pads have plenty of life left I think , but discs are pretty poor condition , so maybe need to replace the whole lot.
Mileage is 34500 from memory.

Commuting mileage seems to be around 24MPG.

TODO : Pipex alias and speed issues

more later

Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Friday, 19 January 2007

Linksys WMP300N further issues / 34k miles / ADSL Pipex speeds

Wireless N issues continued
Ok to recap I bought
Linksys WAG300N-UK ADSL Router
and the
Linksys WMP300N-UK PCI Adapter.

Disabled some devices , updated the driver and changed settings which appeared to work [see my last Blog entry].......

Alas it did not.......

1. Moved house (the reason I went wireless) and could not get a signal at all! Or even worse the router would appear at full signal strength but as soon as I tried to connect it took ages , then it disappeared.
Eventually I brought the router upstairs and placed it on the desk next to the pci antenna.
Unbelievably it still couldnt connect!!!!!!!! WTF
With them almost touching it worked , isnt wireless great???
Anyway long story short I think its the DECT (Phillips) phone that was causing the issue. Changing to a much lower frequency seemed to fix it.

Ok so now its back and running but.........

2. I got at least 3 further BSOD over a period of 4 days. Not to mention the fact the mouse hesitated every 10 seconds (arghhh!) while the CPU usage went 100%
At this point my PC become a waste of money and unusable , enough was enough.
I downloaded a program called ProcessExplorer to troubleshoot.
It seems as if there are way too many Deferred Procedure Calls (DPC's) causing the issue.
Which of course as far as I can fathom is down to the Linksys WMP300N driver (ar5418.sys from memory).

At this point I had wasted far too many hours on this , so 99.9% sure its the PCI driver I decided to uninstall the driver and disable the card.......
and wait for it....
Buy a Belkin G+ MIMO USB Adapter (one of the slower than N spec devices)

The N spec router is compatible with G (and seems to work well) so I kept that , and both support WPA2 128bit.

2 minutes to install and I'm up and running at 54Mbps (300Mbps for the WMP300N, but no good if I cant use it!)
and the machine is back to normal . Hurray :-) , oh but its another 25 quid.
Signal strength is same as N at 'Excellent' , now thats a result......

So in summary

1. Linksys WAG300N-UK ADSL Router. Nice piece of kit. Id buy it.

2. Linksys WMP300N-UK PCI Adapter. Probably good hardware (look at that antenna!) , however let down by a totally unworkable driver (and wireless utility program , if you dont use windows own zero config program)


The driver version I had was 26thOct2006 I think.

Hopefully I can go back to using it again once a new version of the driver is released.

E46 M3
Oh and 34k miles on the BMW :-)

ADSL Speedtest results
Moved to new address so Ive been testing the bandwidth using

Given the results there must be plenty of people sharing my dsl 'group'
(Contention Ratio I think its called)
Check out the difference between 9.30 pm and 3 hrs later.
Upload speed seems stable but download is over 10x faster after most folk have gone to bed LOL

Day Time Download Upload Latency Server Distance
1/18/2007 9:29 PM GMT 449 kb/s 373 kb/s 59 ms London ~ 50 mi
1/19/2007 12:18 AM GMT 6700 kb/s 377 kb/s 35 ms London ~ 50 mi

Thursday, 4 January 2007

Linksys WAG300N-UK ADSL Router and WMP300N-UK PCI wireless issues

As posted on linksys forums to help others who have difficulty........

First off thankyou to all the people who have posted suggestions and help on this board. Its at least been a help to see Im not the only one to have had issues.
In short its taken me at least 7 hrs to get a working connection between card and router.

I hope to post some of my experience here to help others. Many of the suggestions are from other posters....

I bought a
Linksys WAG300N-UK ADSL Router
and the
Linksys WMP300N-UK PCI Adapter recently.

Router setup went fine using a std network cable.
All hell broke loose when I installed the PCI software and card , BSOD , hangs etc but then we all know that :-)

My PC spec

AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4200+
Marvell Yukon 88E8001/8003/8010 PCI Gigabit Ethernet Controller
Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600] SP2 up to date

This worked for me........

Step 1 : Upgrade Firmware of Router to Version: 1.01.01

downloaded from linksys website
Run UpgradeUtility.exe (router connected via a cable)

Step 2 : if PCI card installed then uninstall it via device manager
download STA_WMP300N_EU_1 1 from linksys website
extract to directory of your choice
reboot pc
should show new hardware detected
select advanced option , and point at the Drivers directory of the software you just unzipped.
DO NOT INSTALL THE LINKSYS SOFTWARE under any circumstances.

Step 3 : Change settings of router to following

Network Name (SSID) : yourSSID (you pick this but dont leave it as 'linksys')
Radio Band : Wide - 40MHz Channel
Wide Channel : 9
Standard Channel : 11 - 2.462GHz

Security Mode : PSK2-Personal
Encryption : AES TKIP or AES
Pre-shared Key : myvalidk (you pick this)
Key Renewal : 3600 seconds

Save changes to router

(Additional step that may help any conflicts)
Step 4 :
Disable current network card (and disconnect the cable) you used to setup router (right click 'disable')
It can be turned back on at any time if you wish.

At this point you should try and connect using the wireless connection.
I could only achieve 300Mbps with no security or the settings above.
Changing to other security types showed a speed of 58Mbps
HOWEVER I have a sneaking suspicion that the displayed speed value isnt of any real use !

I still get the odd 2 sec temporary hang (which coincides with a 100% CPU spike ;-)) but no BSOD or total lockup.

Hopefully this is of use.
Previously I tried other drivers and fixes described on here but none got me a working / stable connection with no lockups and reboots reqd.

Remember this is for a UK card and Router.

For now its working 4 hrs uptime and stable.....will post again if it fails.
In fact if its doesnt work after this then its going back to the shop.


[UPDATE 6th Jan 2006]
Looked to be going so well then at 5hrs uptime the machine crashed!!!!

'IRQ NOT LESS OR EQUAL' (remember windows xp has various settings which you can toggle on how it deals with a major problem. The most useful thing to do is turn off the auto reboot so you can write down the error....)
(Found in My Computer , right click 'Properties' , Advanced tab , Startup and Recovery, uncheck 'Reboot Automatically')

Now Ive seen this before in XP so I had a look in Device Manager to see what IRQ 's were being used/shared
In fact my Linksys PCI card was sharing 16 with a 1394 (Firewire) chipset.
Now sharing IRQ's is something Windows XP does for you automatically (when ACPI is on) and usually its fine.(In fact the you cannot assign IRQ' manually I would have to move the card to another free PCI slot to get another IRQ)
Anyways Im not using the Firewire so I disabled it in Device Manager.

In summary , disabling devices is a workaround and NOT a long term solution , its quite clear that the Linksys stuff needs some further driver updates.
However , I no longer get any freeze ups (however short) , the connection is solid at 300Mbps and to date its been running a total of 24 hrs without a dropped connection or XP hang.

So fat so good , fingers tightly crossed........

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

if Santa rode a motorbike this would be it...Ducati 1098 / 33500 miles in M3

yellow , white , black are photoshops of colours that may at some point become available.

Red is the bike as available now ............

Power 160 hp @ 9750rpm
Torque 90 lb-ft @ 8000rpm

data logger , digital dash .......mmmmmmm
11 grand for the 'base' 1098 model LOL , and 14k for the 1098S (lighter wheels and diff shocks)

The perfect bike ? I think so , although its double the price of a GSXR750 !!!

Official DUCATI 1098 page

M3 now @ 33500 miles , averaging 330 miles to a tank.
Swapped from the ipod mini (4GB) , to an ipod video(80GB) I got for xmas which will now hold my entire music collection. It also still fits into the centre tray in the M3 (connects by cable to the non OEM kenwood 627DVD head unit)

Hope you all had a great Xmas and wishing you all a Happy New Year.
Make 2007 a year you'd always hoped for :-)